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Putin, Trump Agree on Syria at Brief Meeting in Vietnam

Putin, Trump Agree on Syria at Brief Meeting in VietnamPutin, Trump Agree on Syria at Brief Meeting in Vietnam

US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met briefly on the sidelines of a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders in Vietnam on Saturday and agreed on the need for a political solution to Syria’s conflict.

A joint statement on Syria followed their first meeting since July at a time that US-Russia relations have been battered and Trump is haunted by allegations that Putin meddled in last year’s election that brought him to the White House, Reuters reported.

Their statement called for a political solution to Syria’s conflict and said they would continue joint efforts to fight the self-styled Islamic State terror group. Trump said it would save “tremendous numbers of lives”.

“We did it very quickly,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One after leaving the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the resort of Danang for Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital. “We seem to have a very good feeling for each other, a good relationship considering we don’t know each other well.”

Talking after their meeting, Putin described Trump as “a well-mannered person and comfortable to deal with”.

“We know each other little, but the US president is highly civil in his behavior, friendly. We have a normal dialogue but unfortunately little time,” he said.

Scheduling and unspecified protocol issues were to blame for the fact that a mooted sit-down meeting did not happen in Danang, he said.

Trump said they had two or three very short conversations.

The Kremlin said the statement on Syria was coordinated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson especially for the meeting in Danang.

With IS having suffered losses in Syria and beyond, greater attention is turning to the broader conflict between President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and rebel factions.

They confirmed their commitment to Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and called on all parties to the Syrian conflict to take an active part in the Geneva political process, it said.

 

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